Learning how to setup and use groups with your text marketing campaign can be really beneficial. There are a number of instances in which groups come in very handy. Use groups to run a poll or voting campaign or to separate your contacts by departments, demographics, geographical locations, or other criteria. Getting your groups setup ahead of time can help streamline the process during opt-in so that you don’t have to move the contacts manually to a group after they have opted in.
More Details About Creating Groups
The first thing to understand is how to create a group. If you are a visual learner you can check out our video tutorials for a demonstration. In this article we will give a step-by-step explanation of how to setup and use groups with your text marketing campaign. The first step in creating a group is to click on the Group tab in the left hand navigation. In the center of the screen you will see the Add Group page. First, define the keyword extension. This is crucial to the opt-in process for voting, polls, or other instances in which you want clients to be added directly to a group. The format for the opt-in will be keyword.extension. For example, if your keyword was testing and you assign the group an extension of 1 people would text testing.1 to be added to that group. Keeping the extension simple is best because it leaves less room for error. (Make sure you do not put the keyword with the period in with the extension – only the part that will come after the period).
The next two fields are Group Name and Description. The Group Name is important if you are using the graph to track results because this is the information that will show up on the graph. A good example of this is if you are doing some kind of a vote, say for a talent show. Assigning extensions of the numbers 1-10 will make the voting easy, each contestant is assigned a number. Putting the name of each contestant as the group name will make it very easy to see the name of the person who won. It can be fun to have the graph streaming on a big screen so the audience can see the real time results of the voting process as well. The Description field is optional but will let you add more information about what the specific group is for. Maybe you are using different groups for a specific time period and you want to put in a date range. Or you have multiple business locations and want a staff group for each location, the description field can define which location the group is for. There are many options and scenarios.
Next, you will see a box that says Default Message. You can leave this box blank if you don’t want to return them anything or you can put a simple message like “Thank you, you have been added to the Staff text list” or “Thank you, your vote has been counted for contestant number 3”. Directly below the box is a Characters Left box, this will countdown as you are typing so you can see exactly how long the message can be – the entire message is limited to 145 characters.
The next field defines how you will handle duplicate contacts, this determines what kind of response a person will get if they opt into the same group more than once. The first option, Allow, means they will get the default message every time they opt in. The second option is to ignore the duplicate, they are already in the group and by selecting ignore they will not be sent the default message a second time. This is ideal if you are doing a voting campaign and are likely to have people voting more than once. The third option is to send the keyword alternate message. When setting up the Autoresponder message there is an option to set an alternate message, this message will be sent any time someone that is already in your databases texts the keyword a second time. This message can be something simple like “Your number is already on our texting list, watch for future specials” or something similar. Selecting this option will return that same alternate message if someone opts into the group more than once.
The last option is to have the group Show On Graph. This lets you determine which groups you want to show on the graph. Make sure the graph is enabled on the Graph Options tab or you will not be able to check this box. If you didn’t enable the graph prior to inputting your other information, don’t navigate away from the page because you will lose all the text you have entered. Just create the group and then go to the Graph Options page and enable the graph. After enabling the graph, go to Manage Groups and edit the group and click the Show on Graph option there.
Now that you understand how to create a group we’ll discuss a couple of other options relating to groups. From the Manage Group page you can Edit or Delete any group. Click the Edit icon to change any information related to the group or click the Delete Icon to delete the group completely. Deleting a group will NOT delete any contact numbers from your account because all numbers are copied into your main contact list.
As mentioned previously, people can opt into a group directly but you also have the option to manually add people to a group. Going to the Add Contact page, located under the Contact (Search) menu, after inputting the name and phone number, check mark the box(es) for the group you want the number to be added to. The client will have to reply Yes to the confirmation message before they will show up in the group.
To copy numbers that are already in your contact list into a group go to the Contact (Search) page and select the number(s) to be moved and then use the drop down arrow at the bottom of the page to select which group you are moving them into and click Go. Another option is to click the Edit icon next to any individual number and use the check boxes next to the groups listed to add or remove any number from a group.